As many people know by now, Star Wars is a multimedia empire that goes far beyond the theatrical films that have been released over the course of nearly 40 years. One are where the franchise is most prevalent is video games, allowing fans to play their own adventures through the galaxy far, far away. Given how expansive the universe is, there is no shortage of directions for titles to go, and gamers have had a variety to choose from over the years.
One of the most popular Star Wars games was Rogue Squadron, in which players controlled Luke Skywalker – leader of an elite group of X-wing pilots called Rogue Squadron. With the Rebel ships fighting against Imperial TIE fighters, logic would dictate that the tables could have been turned in a Dark Side followup, where the Galactic Empire would be the playable characters. As it turns out, that very concept was in the process of being developed, but was ultimately cancelled.
In a new video from YouTube user DidYouKnowGaming (watch it above), details about two scrapped Star Wars games are revealed. The first had the working name Dark Squadron, which was the aforementioned villain answer to Rogue Squadron. In it, the player would control Darth Vader and have the ability to command the Imperial fleet (including ordering air and ground strikes). The proposed game would also do away with the criticized on-foot combat sections of an earlier Rogue Squadron game and be exclusively vehicle battles.
One of the reasons why Dark Squadron never saw the light of day was because it had direct competition in the form of another would-be Star Wars game – one that centered on Chewbacca. The LucasArts pitch committee could only approve one title for their budget, and they went with the Chewie game, which was being developed in-house at the company. Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it would focus on the Wookiee’s adventures before he became Han Solo’s co-pilot, with the video saying Chewbacca would be a bounty hunter. This game never hit shelves because none other than George Lucas disapproved of some of the ideas, such as Chewie being the main character.
It’s unfortunate that neither of these came to be, since they both had a lot of potential on-paper. Players got a taste of what Dark Squadron could have been with bonus levels such as Revenge on Yavin (set in an alternate history where the attack on the first Death Star failed) in the GameCube game Star Wars: Rogue Leader, and it would have been fun to see what Factor 5 could do with the premise over the course of a full game. And as one of the most beloved Star Wars characters, there probably would have been much interest in playing as Chewbacca, exploring the underworld of the galaxy going on various missions.
The chances that either come to be are remote now, especially with the new structure at Lucasfilm. The Star Wars story group coordinates all pieces of content (such as video games), making sure they all work together to maintain continuity. In addition, EA is now in charge of developing Star Wars games, and they probably have their own ideas they want to work on, as opposed to reviving shelved titles. Dark Squadron and the Chewbacca game are interesting what-ifs to consider, but that’s the extent of their legacy in the Star Wars franchise.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.